There are many shops in the Algarve capital. There are large shopping centers and small shops with products of local craftsmen. One of the largest and most beautiful shopping centers not only in Faro, but in the entire region is Forum Algarve (more than 200 shops, a cinema, restaurants). It is located near the airport, at the entrance to the city from Albufeira along highway number 125. In the center of Faro, most of the shops are concentrated in the pedestrian area of Rua Santa António, as well as in the old town near the Cathedral.
Sales usually occur in January-February and August-September. Discounts are indicated by the inscription “saldos” on the windows. Prices in Faro are slightly higher than in other regions of Portugal, but significantly lower than in the rest of Europe. Check liuxers for customs and traditions of Portugal.
In small shops you can find interesting and high-quality handmade goods: leather goods, knitwear, textiles and lace. Good antiques are sold at Vila Adento in Piazza Afonso III in the old part of the city. An excellent souvenir will be the Portuguese Azulejo tiles. Tourists often buy these blue and white, hand-painted tiles with the number of a house or apartment, although you can also purchase a whole panel. Another classic gift from Faro is cork products: handbags, wallets, notebooks and even magnets.
Large shopping centers open at 10:00 and work until midnight, small shops – from 9:00 to 19:00, many of them close for lunch from 13:00 to 15:00. Markets (7:00-12:00) sell everything from food to clothing and ceramics (including the famous Portuguese cockerels). The most interesting market in Faro takes place in the Estoi area every second Sunday of the month.
Cafes and Restaurants in Faro
By the standards of Portugal, Faro is a big city – any tourist will find a cafe or restaurant to their liking here. And if in the countryside around the capital of the Algarve, most restaurants are open until 21:00, then you can dine here later. But lunch, on the contrary, is early, at about 12:30, after 14:00, many cafes close the kitchen. Breakfast is served until 10:00.
You can taste local cuisine at the typicu restaurants. They serve Algarve specialties cooked on a cataplana, a round-bottomed pan with a very tight lid (all flavors are retained!). In institutions called “marisqueiras” they offer fish and seafood, Faro is famous for them all over the world. This is not only the branded cod “bacalau”, which is cooked in hundreds of ways, but also the fish soup-roast “caldeirada”, as well as sardines: the number of recipes is simply innumerable. In teahouses you can not only drink tea, but also have a cheap snack. It is worth trying the branded Portuguese green wine “Vinho Verde” – young, light and refreshing.
In any eatery, snacks are taken out almost immediately. It can be bread and butter, olives, various sauces, which will be included in the bill only if they were eaten (set cost – 2-6 EUR). If the guest did not touch, you will not have to pay. Therefore, do not refuse and try to hand the dish back to the waiter, he will take it himself when he brings the order. Pay attention to the PV or preco V marks on the menu near seafood or fish dishes. This means that the price depends on the current value of the product on the market.
Prices depend on the class of the institution. A full dinner in a restaurant will cost about 40 EUR (with a glass of wine). In cozy “rural” (in style) establishments you can eat for about 25 EUR. And to have a bite to eat in “pashteleries” (pastry shops) – for 7-10 EUR. There is no unusual fast food in Faro: fans of “fast food” can visit classic burger chains or buy kebabs. Prices are low: about 2 EUR per serving. A good way to save money is a tourist set lunch “ementa tourist”, which costs from 15 to 25 EUR, you can eat them to satiety. Also in restaurants and cafes, the dish of the day is often found – “platu do dia”. It is customary to leave a tip in the amount of 5-10% of the bill.
Portions are usually very large, those who are not sure that they can handle it can order “uma meya doze”, that is, half a serving, or take one dish for two.
Most restaurants in Faro are located in the central, tourist part of the city on the square near the Cathedral and the surrounding streets. There are good fish restaurants in the port (Doca de Faro). But it’s more expensive here. Pay attention to where the locals dine, it is tastier and cheaper there.
The mild, temperate continental climate makes Faro a pleasant place to visit from February to October. It is almost always sunny here, already in the last month of winter trees begin to bloom, and the beach season starts in May (though at first without swimming).
It is better to go to the resort in the first weeks of autumn, as it can be too hot at the end of summer, and in June, when everything seems to be conducive to sunbathing, the water in the Atlantic is still cold – only the most courageous swim! Since November, it often rains, but there is no snow and severe frosts even in winter.